Speed Up Your Shipping Department with A Stretch Wrapper
Authored by Pat McAssey
October 14, 2016
Stretch Wrappers, also known as pallet wrappers, are commonly used in warehouses across the globe to make packing orders for shipping much more efficient. Using a low density polyethylene stretch film, these machines wrap boxes and pallets very quickly. This film can stretch up to 500% of its length before breaking. The stretch properties of the film allow material to be bound tight & secure for long, grueling hauls to your customer.
The advantages and functions of using a stretch wrapper are numerous. In warehouses and industrial settings, these machines are essential to any shipping or packaging operation. Improved stability of products and packages provides confidence to your team that the material will reach the end user intact and unharmed. In addition, the handling of the load comes much easier for the material handlers on both ends, as picking up a skid that has been stretch wrapped is a breeze compared to inadequate packaging. Now unfortunately, there are also bad people in this world, thieves, who would seize any opportunity to make a couple dollars. Having a stretch wrapped load makes it difficult for anyone to access the material inside. Finally, the wrapped material is protected from dust and debris, helping to ensure a clean, beautiful product arrives at the other end.
There are three different types of stretch wrappers, manual, semi-auto, and automatic. There are variations of each but I will quickly discuss each in general.
Manual stretch wrappers, being the least efficient, rely on an employee or employees to use one of several techniques to manual wrap the order with a roll of the polyethylene film. Obviously this is going to leave some room for error as the task is tedious and you have a to get a strong, consistent stretch the whole time to make the load secure. While it can be done with the right technique, manual stretch wrapping should be considered for small boxes, or odd shaped orders that the machine cannot handle.
Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrappers come in three styles, turntable, orbital, and rotary arm. Turntable units spin the load on the platform of the machine while a roll of film is released on a fixed mast, moving up and down as the load spins. All of these styles are working on the same principle, the load is rotated faster than the film is fed, stretching the film as it turns. Orbital wrappers feature a vertical rotating ring to apply the film horizontally through the ring. The last style, rotary arm, the material is stationary while a rotating arm circles the pallet, wrapping it with film.
Automatic Stretch Wrappers, are your best option, and also obviously the most expensive. However, they are worth the investment. These units, similar to semi-auto, but feature technology to load the machine, apply, seal, and cut the film. These stretch wrappers come in turntable and rotary arm styles similar to semi-auto units described above. The style unique to automatics is the rotary ring wrapper. The film is on a horizontal ring which moves vertically relative to the material being wrapped as the load stays in place. Automatic being the best option, allows the employee/operator to sit back and observe a perfect wrap with confidence.
Deciding on which unit to invest in, depends heavily on how much volume your shipping department needs to handle. These units are an investment, and will pay for themselves over and over throughout their life cycle. You will want to speak with one of our knowledgeable salesman before making a purchase to determine the perfect unit for your teams’ needs. American Surplus can help determine the model best suited for you and your material handling team.